Tracking legislation is team effort at D.C-based Education Nonprofit

This education nonprofit is based of out Washington D.C. and works with decision makers on developing and implementing reform policies on education. They provide model legislation, rule-making expertise, implementation strategies, and public outreach for local and state governments.

Challenge

One of the highest goals for many education non-profits is that their good policies be replicated throughout the country. To help that process, this organization identifies areas which need improvement and then draft model legislation to share with states throughout the U.S.

From there, they must monitor state legislation to determine if any introduced bills match the language or ideas which were drafted. When they identify a good bill they’ll lobby for it, providing thoughts on how it may be improved, sending talking points and possible amendments to sponsors.

With this organization’s legacy legislative tracking solution, they had limited access to bills captured with boolean search – other bills were absent within the system. This led the nonprofit to cast a wider net, which ultimately led to volumes of irrelevant bills that required manual review to determine importance. Still, they wondered if the introduction of new bills or movement of others was being missed.

Moreover, they felt that their product was “too big and too clumsy,” resembling a text document. All this created obstacles for achieving their goals.

Solution

The organization trained their 30 person team to use FiscalNote for monitoring new education legislation. Advocacy associates find a bill through custom filters and complete the first review before passing the bill to advocacy directors, and ultimately policy directors, who will decide which actions should be taken.

FiscalNote’s filtering and bookmark system allows the team to only follow bills that are directly relevant to them. Meanwhile, they still have access to every education bill throughout the country without fear of missing activity.

Results

The organization recently received 501(c4) status and are excited to use FiscalNote’s scores to help identify states in which they want lobbyist relationships.

According to the organization’s advocacy director, their process has become more streamlined and they no longer fear missing important movements in legislation. By eliminating irrelevant noise, they’ve been able to save time and focus efforts on higher leverage activities.

Their policy team is happier, too, citing FiscalNote’s visual appeal and friendly interface.